Information for New First Year/Transfer Students

May 08, 2013 admin

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Academic Programs unit is dedicated to your success at UC Davis. From orientation to graduation, we are here to support you through your college experience from orientation to graduation.

All incoming students are highly encouraged to attend UC Davis Orientation. For new students, registration for the fall quarter takes place during the orientation program. Orientation leaders provide students with help in planning their first quarter schedule. In the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the departmental advisors and College advisors (Undeclared/Exploratory) assist students with planning their quarterly schedule of classes, as well as in planning a long-term program of study.

If you do not attend orientation, you may not be able to receive academic advising prior to enrolling in classes and will register on your own during your registration appointment time, also known as a Pass Time. This Registration appointment is a pre-assigned time to enroll in courses and can be found on ScheduleBuilder at If you do not attend orientation and need help with registration, contact the CA&ES Dean’s Office in 150 Mrak Hall or (530) 752-0108. 

The University maintains a wealth of information on registration and enrollment procedures. The current course schedule and registration information, enrollment procedures, class registration instructions, fee payment policies and procedures, add/drop policies, and information about course availability is readily accessible to students on the Registrar’s website at Course descriptions, major and minor requirements are available in the UC Davis General Catalog at Also, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has prepared an Academic Advising Resource Directory which includes major descriptions and contact information for all degrees offered by the college.

We encourage you to speak with an advisor if you have questions about your current classes, if you need help planning classes for an upcoming quarter, or if you have any concerns about meeting graduation requirements.

The following websites can be helpful:

Registrar’s Office
UC Davis General Catalog


Academic Advising Resources

  • Attend Deans' Assembly during Orientation Days at the start of the quarter for an introduction into the College and general information
    • Date and time will be announced on CA&ES website.
  • Peer Advisors – Dean’s Office and Major Offices
  • Academic Advising Resource Directory
  • Faculty Advisors – see Major offices (at above link)
  • College Dean’s Office Academic Counselors – 150 Mrak Hall

Academic Transition

  • Expect: you approach this phase of education with both excitement and concern
  • Concerns
    • Will I succeed?
    • Is my major the right one for me?
  • Good news:
    • You met admissions standards set for success by our faculty
    • You proved your commitment to academic success
    • You have what it takes to succeed at UC Davis
    • It is easy to change your major. Once you complete one quarter at UC Davis in good academic standing, you may be eligible to change your major.

Caution: Transition is Difficult

  • New school and campus
  • New living environment
  • Higher expectations of instructors
  • Quarter system - 10 weeks
  • College performance uncorrelated with high school performance

Departmental Staff Advisors (Major Advisors)

Faculty Advisors

  • Choice of major and area of specialization
  • Career plans
  • Internship sponsorship
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Graduate study

Dean’s Office Advisors

  • Supplemental advising services
  • Services provided:
    • Navigating petitions 
    • Certification of degree requirements
    • Change of major to another college
    • Student-centered consulting 
  • Advice for students in academic difficulty 
    • Referrals to campus services
    • Appeals
    • Current students can schedule an appointment using our online Messaging & Appointment System -

Succeeding at UC Davis

  • Teamwork approach
    • Study partner or group
    • Upper-class students
    • Teaching assistants and instructor
  • Weekly study time
    • 2 hours for each hour of lecture
    • 2 hours for each hour of discussion
    • 1-2 hours for each 2-3 hours of lab time
    • 40-50 hours of class and study time
  • Manage your time carefully (Do not procrastinate)
  • Utilize the Student Academic Success Center
  • Consult with more experienced students
  • Meet with teaching assistants
  • Meet with instructor
  • Stay in frequent contact with advisors

Academic Planning

  • Initial course priorities
    • Math (if required for your major)
    • English or General Education Course
    • Chemistry or Major Preparatory Course
    • Check the General Catalog if you have Advanced Placement Credit
  • Recommend expected load of about 15 units each quarter
    • 12-14 units are recommended in the first quarter to allow for transition and adjustment 
    • Minimum of 13 units per quarter or 39 after three full time quarters to meet minimum progress (qualitative standards) 
  • General Education
  • Useful Handouts
  • Recommend normal load of about 15 units each quarter, with at least 45 units in three quarters (Minimum Progress is an average of 13 units/ full time quarter, with at least 39 units in three full time quarters)
  • General Catalog: issued every two years

Educational Enrichment

Computer Resources & Official Communications

Information Privacy

  • Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) allows only “directory information” to be released, including:
    • Student name, address, phone number, e-mail address
    • Photograph, date and place of birth
    • Major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status
    • Degrees, honors and awards received
    • Students may declare this information to be confidential
  • For campus offices to communicate to a third party you must sign a release form
    • Each office may have their own release form

Finish in Four Years?

  • Requires normal progress of 15 units/quarter
  • Courses must be taken in recommended order
  • May be difficult to accomplish if you must work to provide financial support

Academic Difficulty and Dismissal – in general

  • Dean's Office monitors qualitative and quantitative progress - see below
  • Qualitative standard (grade point average / GPA) expects a minimum of 2.0 in quarter and overall UC GPA
    • Only based on UC grades!
    • Qualitative Academic probation: quarter or cumulative UC GPA 1.5-2.0
    • Qualitative Probation continued: second quarter or cumulative UC GPA 1.5-2.0
    • Qualitative Subject to disqualification (SD)
      • Quarter or cumulative UC GPA below 1.5
      • 3rd quarter of UC GPA or cumulative UC GPA 1.5-2.0
      • 16 units or more of outstanding “I” (incomplete) grades
  • You will be promptly dismissed any time you are subject to disqualification for three consecutive quarters for Qualitative (GPA) reasons
  • Quantitative standard (a.k.a. Minimum Progress) based on number of units passed in each full time quarter
  • Minimum Progress: 13 units/full time quarter or average 39 units after three full time quarters
    • You must petition and be approved by the Office of the Registrar for Part Time Status before the 10th day of the quarter otherwise you are “full time”
    • Students are encouraged to complete 15 units per quarter to achieve normal progress toward their degree.
  • You will be promptly dismissed after being subject to disqualification for two consecutive quarters for Quantitative (minimum progress) reasons.
  • You may be dismissed any time you are subject to disqualification.


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